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Land Acquisition at North Fork St. Lucie River Aquatic Preserve Quick Topics

The purpose of purchasing undeveloped public lands upstream and adjacent to the preserve is to maintain or improve water quality and to conserve and protect habitat for the conservation and protection of wildlife species, including threatened and endangered species that rely on the North Fork SLR for food, protection, and reproduction. Lands that have already been acquired preserve a relatively unspoiled wildlife corridor in the middle of a highly urbanized area.

Over the past 25 years, state and local programs have done an exceptional job of acquiring land adjacent to the preserve. These lands not only provide access to, and recreational opportunities within the preserve, but also improve water quality by acting as a filter for stormwater runoff. Approximately 73 percent (1,920 acres) of the original 2,620-acre riverine corridor proposed for purchase under the Florida Forever program has been acquired. The remaining parcels represent critical floodplain communities and buffering uplands along the river corridor. Several of the originally proposed parcels have been removed from the acquisition list because of development, which emphasizes the current time-sensitive nature of the acquisition process. Prioritization of these remaining parcels is needed.

In addition to acquiring buffering uplands, partners and the public have utilized the formal public meeting process to request that the boundary of the preserve be extended to include its headwaters (Five and Ten Mile Creeks) and small sections omitted from the current preserve boundary. It was proposed that extension into Five Mile Creek should end at the northern boundary of the Savannas Preserve State Park Miller-Wild parcel just south of Edwards Road and the extension in Ten Mile Creek should include the tidally-connected area downstream of the Gordy Road water control structure. Extension to the Gordy Road water control structure would add an additional 4.8 river miles to the north of the existing preserve (currently 16 river miles long).

Map of Proposed Boundary Expansion for North Fork St. Lucie Aquatic Preserve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last updated: September 24, 2010

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